It’s been a landmark for almost 70 years, and it sits there still, perched on the edge of the road, right across from Sooke Elementary School. Its tiny 21X12-foot space has seen a lot of action in the years since it was built by Dr. William J. McCauley for his dentistry practice.
It was in 1946 that Dr. McCauley, recently returned from serving as a captain in the Canadian Armed Forces, left his Moose Jaw, Sask. home with wife Ethel, son Ronald and daughter Joan, to begin a new life on the West Coast.
The family settled into a cabin on Harbourview Road while they were having a new home built nearby. Meanwhile, they had located a site for the dentistry office on one of the original small tent lots in central Sooke.
While Dr. McCauley was not Sooke’s first dentist (that distinction belonged to Dr. McCarter of the Bible Student colony), his fulltime practice opened a new door for Sooke area residents.
While our parents were pleased, no doubt, the sound of that whining drill left quite another impression on those of us of the younger generation.
My memory of the building indicates a small reception area, the dentist’s chair and work centre, plus a small lab and washroom at the eastern end. Ethel McCauley served as assistant to her husband.
Later, in the 1970s the office was purchased by Sooke’s architect of that day, John Tregear, who rebuilt it on a concrete foundation. In turn he sold it to Fuzzy Fedosenko in 1987. Besides Fuzzy’s own use of the building as a realty office, he has, over the years, rented it out for a variety of uses.
Among tenants that Fuzzy, a fount of local real estate knowledge, recalls, was Darlene Shepherd’s rental as a wedding supplies shop and later in the 1990s it was rented to Peter Grove for his chiropractor practice, followed by another chiropractor, Rick Lambert.
While Fuzzy used it again as a realty office, the structure has more recently been occupied by a sewing shop, and then an upholstery firm, while today’s occupant is a hair salon, called Rustic Roots.
We’re sure that Dr McCauley, who passed away in the 1970s, would have been thrilled to know that the little cabin he perched along the roadside so long ago, still embraces a clientele today. The McCauley son Ron passed away recently up-Island, and their daughter Joan has lived for many years in Houston, Texas.
Elida Peers is the historian of Sooke Region Museum.